Dubai Consumer Mirror

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wafi Heist Video

Like everyone who has an email in the UAE today, I received the URL of the mobile phone video that captured the Wafi heist in progress.

See it here. Another Video here as well

I don't know what to say. I am in total shock, really.

Some friends were supposed to go there last night, but changed their minds at the last minute. Thank god they did.

From the video, I can clearly see that the robbers:
Are very organised (In uniform - all dressed in black and masked).
Targeted Graff. One of the most, if not THE most, exclusive jewellery outlet in the mall. I bet they must've had scouts that checkout out the place many times.
It was done late Sunday evening; traffic is light, both inside and outside. Making it a clean in-and-out.
Influenced by Hollywood (Ronin): notice the make of the Audis - exact models that were used in the heist movie.
In the Gulf News story, it says that the cars were set on fire. So, they must've had replacement cars. Also, one car had an Abu Dhabi car plate and the other was without any.

AND ... they were frigging armed.

When I first read the story headline, I thought they must have used real-looking toy guns; but you can hear the live gunfire in the video.

This heist had the potential of going really really really bad. There are no news of any life casualties, lets hope there are not.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tagged: Five thing you didn't know about me

Tagged by CG

(1) A couple of years ago, I bought a really cool-looking mountain bike from a dodgy toy shop in Karama for Dhs 220 only!. It literally fell apart after the first ride.

(2) I am on a very disciplined diet during the week, but I pig out over the weekend.

(3) I own/drive two BMWs, and I do drive them like a moron-on-wheels if i have to. (yeah... yeah .. judge me as you like!)

(4) It takes me 1 second to turn into a 'premium grade' smart ass, and a whole day regretting it.

(5) I procrastinate, a lot.

Anyone who reads this is tagged..

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Friday, April 13, 2007

People Power

When I came back home yesterday, I found a letter saying 'Full DEWA connection will be restored and the building will not be running on generators anymore..' Damn that was fast!

On my way out to the office this morning to check my emails, I spotted a DEWA car parked next to the electricity room outside our building. A gov official on duty at 7am on a Friday morning?!! Now I have seen it all.

Was it really a coincidence that the day we got our water and electricity in our tiny and overpriced apartment was the same day everyone in the UAE read about it in the paper?

I highly doubt it.

It is a shame really. Not the situation we (myself and 60 other families) living like dogs and paying an average of 9 to 10k a month for it; No, but the fact that service providers, (landlords, real-estate agents and dewa) were taking us, the avarage people, for fools.

They were abusing the fact that majority of tenants staying in our building will not whine, moan or revolt like madmen. I’ve met most of them. All are decent family men and women, hard working in respectable companies and all what they wanna do it just to get on their days.

We were tolerant, we were accommodating and we were very very understanding. So what did we do to deserve this?

This was the situation: DEWA power connection from our building to the main area 'power transformer' was being blocked by another construction site 500 meters only from the power station. I wrote about it here.

Fine, these things happen all the time, I was told. And they are usually sorted in a couple of days, I was also informed. So why did take all this time? Also, why didn't the landlord pressure DEWA to take action against that contractor who was blocking the way?

A. Most probably our landlord was busy running his other businesses
B. No one was complaining, so no one would mind if DEWA was late
C. He did but the owner of the construction site has big wasta
D. All of the above

Okay … why didn't DEWA do anything; since they cleared out the building and instructed the landlord to ask the people (US) to move in - DEWA should be responsible for its actions and act accordingly?

A. Most probably the DEWA site surveyor didn't report the situation to his superiors
B. He saw that the building being denied service (ours) is a tiny one and doesn't belong to Emaar or Palm or any other major bigwigs. So, khalli walli.
C. He did but the owner of the construction site has big wasta
D. All of the above

Fine… when the landlord found out that it was end of Feb and nothing happened; why didn't the landlord escalate it with the authorities? The Municipality, the police, legal prosecution?

A. Most probably its cheaper to rent a couple of generators than having to file law suites and legal complaints
B. All the tenants are "effing expats", so they can all Khalli walli
C. He did but the owner of the construction site has big wasta
D. All of the above

Okaaay... The landlord had a great opportunity to involve the tenants and make them be part of the solution; instead, he kept everyone in the dark (no pun intended) Why didn't the landlord communicate openly?

A. Because he commissioned a bunch of morons, bloodsucking, we-have-nothing-to-do-with-it, real-estate agents that represented him.
B. He thought that its better to just avoid them whining and complaining
C. All the tenants are "effing expats", they are good for nothing. So they can all Khalli walli as well.
D. All of the above

I have a lot more really; but it’s Friday morning and i really need to head back home. I just want to make is clear that all the above does not mean I do not appreciate or sympathize with what the landlord had gone through. It must've been hard on him as well.

I just think if he communicated with us openly, sacked those good-for-nothing agents, and made us the tenant directly involved (or at least informed), I am confident that we would have helped him find a solution for it. Ironically, it actually WAS us -the tenants- who found the solution for it.

Again, thank you GulfNews!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sounds familiar?

Read here ;)

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